A person or company that discloses the results of HIV testing in violation of a patient’s privacy rights can be sued for damages, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a 4-3 per curiam decision in Florida Department of Corrections v. Lisa Abril, et vir, the court carved out an exception to the state impact rule. This rule states that “emotional distress suffered must flow from physical injuries the plaintiff sustained in an impact” in order for a plaintiff to recover damages for emotional distress caused by the negligence of another.

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